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Liberal Reforms and Community Responses in Mexico



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Liberal Reforms and Community Responses in Mexico1 by Alain de Janvry C line Dutilly Carlos Mu oz Pi a and Elisabeth Sadoulet University of California at Berkeley I From state led to community led governance 1 1 The ejido before the 1992 reforms Rural communities have in Mexico an extraordinarily important and yet largely unrecognized role in influencing the way in which a huge endowment of natural resources is used and local public goods are delivered to a majority of the rural population By contrast to Africa and North East Asia Hayami and Platteau 1998 these communities generally do not have their roots in tribal or ancestral village origins They are instead mostly creation of the state product of the political settlement that followed 10 years of peasant led armed revolution This settlement led to formation of the ejido communities as defined in the constitution of 1917 In some cases land that had been expropriated from indigenous communities by expansion of the haciendas was restituted giving a tribal basis to the ejido communities But in the vast majority of cases communities were created by pulling together in ejidos the former workers of expropriated haciendas or ad hoc groups of rural households demanding access to land A dual form of property rights was thus created covering today each approximately half of the Mexican territory On the one hand a sector of private farms with a ceiling on land ownership equivalent to 100 hectares of irrigated land the peque as propriedades On the other hand a social sector generically referred to as the ejido sector that includes indigenous communities with restituted lands and new ejido communities created by the reform with ejido communities outnumbering indigenous communities 15 to 1 In this ejido sector all land is owned by the community Land in ejidos is also accessed under a dual system of land rights individual plots to which ejidatario households have access in usufruct and common property resources CPR to which all



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